Outdoor Adventures Hosts Climbing Events



Sam Stevens, Staff Writer

This coming week, the Outdoor Adventure program at Texas A&M University – Commerce is hosting a couple different events to promote the growth of rock climbing as a sport.

On Friday October 28, the 5th annual bouldering competition will take place at the Morris Recreation Center, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Bouldering, a popular category of rock climbing, is simply a high intensity, low height form of climbing.  It takes place on a 10-15 foot wall, with different paths to the top, known commonly to climbers as “problems.”

“Since we’re a smaller university, you get a much more personable feel,” Ben Montgomery, the Route Manager at Outdoor Adventure stated. “You’ll get a lot more one-on-one time, as well as more time to climb.  And we also get a lot of cool sponsors, so you’ll get a lot of cool swag.”

In a competition setting, these problems are graded and scored based on their difficulty, and climbers then compete to see who can climb the highest amount of problems with the highest difficulty.

After the initial round of competition, each climber’s score will be tallied, and the top three men and women will advance to the final round.  In the final round, the three competitors in each category will have a certain amount of time to climb a special problem that increases in difficulty until each climber is eliminated.

Also going on this week is the program’s lead climbing clinic.  Lead climbing, also known as sport climbing, is commonly seen outdoors, since anchors on outdoor routes are not previously set up.

“Lead climbing is a great way for climbers in the gym to transition into outdoor climbing,” Justin Crossland, the Assistant Director of Outdoor Adventure stated. “Often times, there aren’t top ropes available outside.”

The clinic, free for students, will be held on Wednesday October 26, at the Morris Recreation Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  The students will learn the concept of what lead climbing is, all of the safety concerns and practices, and then have the opportunity to practice and become certified.

“Understanding the principles we teach in our lead climbing clinic is an essential way to progress as a climber, and take your skillset from being gym-based, to outdoor climbing as well,” Crossland stated.

The certification involves a test, and it will allow students to lead climb freely at the climbing wall on campus as well as equip them with the knowledge needed to climb outdoors.